Let The GOP Sink On Iraq
Despite the rhetoric from Harry Reid, the battle in the Senate was over before it began. Three Democrats and all Republicans except Gordon Smith voted to kill the Democrats’ attempt to set a time limit on our commitment in Iraq. Congrats to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for your party discipline, and your ability to pull Joe Lieberman, Mark Pryor, and Ben Nelson along against the Majority Leader.
We already know the House version of this will suffer a similar fate once it gets over to the Senate. The spin today is that the Senate is waiting to review a toothless alternate resolution from John Warner and Nelson that doesn’t provide any timeline at all, and only talks about the Iraqis meeting benchmarks. In other words, it is designed solely to allow the vulnerable GOP incumbents like Warner to say they did something on Iraq before next year’s election. As I have said before, and will say again, Harry Reid should hang today’s vote around the GOP’s neck, and not allow them another chance for a CYA vote. This was their chance today, and only one Republican was willing to vote for a timeline.
Please Harry, stop the madness. Don’t offer any of the vulnerable GOP senators any more chances to save themselves for next year. Hang this vote around their necks all summer long until the vote on the 2008 defense appropriation bill is scheduled, and then use your constitutionally authorized power to tighten the purse strings. The time for GOP free rides on Iraq is over.